PRINCETON, N.J. -- All eight Ivy League cross
country teams kick off their 2013 seasons this weekend as they look
to build on an impressive 2012 campaign.
On Friday, Cornell hosts Army and Syracuse, while Penn takes part in the Big 5 Meet. The following day, Brown will run in the Dartmouth Invitational, Columbia will compete in the Stony Brook Invitational, Yale will race against Harvard and Princeton will participate in the Delaware Blue Hen Invitational.
Many key runners return, including Dartmouth senior Abbey D’Agostino, who won the NCAA Cross Country Regional for the second-straight year last season and placed second at the NCAA Cross Country Championship. The 2011 Ivy League individual champion looks to return to the top of the podium after sitting out last season with an injury.
Cornell went 1-2-3 at Heps for its second consecutive title and returns juniors Emily Shearer and Rachel Sorna, who placed second and third, respectively. Sorna went on to earn USTFCCCA All-America honors thanks to a 32nd-place finish at the NCAA Championships. The Big Red is ranked No. 10 in the country in the USTFCCCA preseason poll.
Harvard returns all seven athletes who helped guide the Crimson to a 31st-place finish at the 2012 NCAAs, including senior Sammy Silva, who placed sixth at the Ivy League Championship. Brown seniors Heidi Caldwell and Margaret Connelly, who took fourth and seventh at Heps a season ago, respectively, also are back, as is Yale senior Liana Epstein (11th). Columbia returns junior Waverly Neer, who took second at the 2011 Ivy League Championship, as well as senior Caroline Williams, who was 24th last season.
Princeton comes in ranked No. 28 in the nation by the USTFCCCA thanks to the return of 2012 All-Region runners in juniors Emily de La Bruyere and Jackie Nicholas. Penn hopes that sophomores Hannah Grossman and Elyssa Gensib will build on their respective 29th and 37th-place finishes at Heps a year ago.
The 2013 Ivy League Heptagonal Championship will take place on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Princeton’s West Windsor Fields.